Mobile In-Game Ad Network Secures New Funding

Greystripe aims to bring mobile advertising closer to the Web and has $5.5 million in funding to continue working toward that goal.

Mobile in-game advertising network Greystripe has raised $5.5 million in Series C funding yesterday, bringing the total amount raised to $15.6 million to date. Greystripe wants to use the funds to capture dollars from online and other channels.

Greystripe sees budgets increasing in mobile advertising and hopes to accelerate the flow of those dollars with its additional capital. “Our proxy is the request for proposals we’re getting; those dollar amounts are getting larger,” said Michael Chang, CEO and co-founder of Greystripe. “The biggest RFPs used to be $100 to $150K, we’re seeing them grow to $300 and even to $600K.”

Ad revenues in the U.S. mobile sector reached $160 million in 2008, according to a recent Kelsey Group report.

The cash from this round will help Greystripe continue to build its operations and work with agencies to structure mobile campaigns. The company, which runs a network of ad-supported mobile games, has built a system to allow agencies to port Flash ads from the Web to mobile formats. The creatives are converted to executions that are able to run on the iPhone and other smartphones. By adding automation to the system, agencies are able to add mobile to their buys in any standard dashboard.

Last month OMD said it would require mobile ad networks to verify display ads. “We’ve been doing that since last year,” said Chang. “If you think about our vision for combining mobile with online, it’s absolutely a requirement.”

In some cases Greystripe, and other mobile ad networks, have captured Web dollars. A recent campaign from Hewlett Packard was intended for the Web. The mobile channel was added due to its availability in the dashboard. “That’s huge for the industry,” said Chang.

Incubic Venture Capital was a repeat investor, and Steamboat Ventures and Monitor Ventures also participated in the round. Greystripe is backed by Disney.

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